Paul has been a triathlon coach for almost ten years, working with athletes of all types to accomplish their goals. He has coached hundreds of athletes across finish lines at every distance of the sport and most recently coached 80 finishers across the finish line of Ironman-series races. Athletically, he quickly rose through the ranks of the triathlon world and has now transitioned his passion from racing to coaching. (He manages to fuel his competitive fire, however, by bike racing. Along with multiple Ironman finishes, Paul races as a Cat 3 Road Cyclist.) He has cycling, triathlon, and running race wins under his belt and has qualified “accidentally” for the USAT National Competition at the Olympic distance. Paul is a member of PowerBar’s Team Elite.
Hailing from the hot-rocking, flame-throwing berg of Buffalo NY, Paul worked in the snowboard industry for 11 years, lived in 5 states and has ridden just about every mountain in North America. As a designer of footwear from snowboard boots to athletic shoes, he is an expert in running shoes, running biomechanics, running errands, running for coffee, running to the bathroom - you get the point. Paul coaches in honor of his older brother Franklin, who taught Paul that coaching is more than about building athletes, it’s about building people and character.
Team Challenge National Head Coach Dave’s NOVEMBER Tip
With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon fast approaching, for runners eager to get into the thick of night time racing, here are 4 tips to help you prepare to take on the night:
- Do most of your longer workouts, especially those in the last few weeks before the race, close to race time.
- Tweak the timing of meals to reflect the late afternoon start time. Enjoy a normal dinner the night before, as well as a normal breakfast on race day. The key to night racing is to make sure you have a very light lunch 3-4 hours before the race.
- Be aware that temperatures will fall during the race rather than rise, as is often the case during morning races. The evening start time affords participants much more pleasant race-time temperatures than is normally the case. Faster runners won’t notice much change but slower runners and walkers may want to carry a warm hat and/or long-sleeve shirt to put on as temperatures drop.
- Be sure to stay hydrated. Because temperatures will be dropping, you may feel less thirsty. It is important to drink enough to keep up with your sweat rate.
Team Challenge National Head Coach Dave’s FAQ
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.